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Tropical storm Marco will hit Louisiana and Texas later today (Aug. 24), and will likely cause significant flooding. Just a day and a half later, another cyclone, Laura, will likely ram itself against the same stretch of coastline — and will pack an even greater punch.

Marco never developed into a hurricane, so last week’s uncertain forecast of a record-setting two simultaneous hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t materialize. But the one-two punch of tropical storm Marco Monday afternoon and Laura Wednesday (Aug. 26) afternoon still poses a rare and serious threat. Marco will drop a deluge of water on Louisiana and Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) — 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) in most areas, maxing out at 10 inches (25 cm) in the hardest hit spots. The land will have little time to dry between the storms. And when the ground is already wet, according to the National Weather Service, each additional drop of rain is more likely to sit on the surface rather than absorb into the dirt or drain away into rivers and streams.

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